By Jaevion Nelson, Guest Columnist
How dare you be 'different' and think you have a right to be accepted? And on top of that have the nerve to challenge MY beliefs, MY perceptions and even MY attitude towards YOU, a minority?
You must be out of your bloody mind!
To be honest, I think minorities want way too much empowerment! Don't you think? They want too much attention!
They must accept and respect that I will tolerate them - the minority - but I will 'use' my freedom of speech to castigate them whenever and however I wish. They must respect that. That isn't such a hard thing to do.
Why must they be so audacious? This isn't America, you know! Do they really think they have a right to scream their divergent views from the mountaintop and think we - the majority - should listen? Just be who you bloody are - in private, of course - and allow us to wallow in our speculation and pity for you.
MR AND MISS MINORITY, can't you just accept and respect our privilege? Respect is a two-way process, you know.
Privilege is a helluva thing! I just don't get why some are allowed to parade in their ignorance and serenade the society with hate and misinformation while others - as soon as they ventilate an opinion - are castigated for not being diplomatic.
The people we consider to be 'normal' and 'accepted' enjoy a certain degree of dominance in a society. They enjoy a privilege that allows them to both influence and make decisions that impact on the entire society, particularly those who are perceived as 'abnormal'.
The 'normal' people make up the majority and the 'abnormal' are in the minority.
The 'normal' people (in Jamaica) are usually Christians, heterosexuals, non-disabled, rich (even though most people aren't!).
Why should atheists show reverence to a god they do not believe exists? Why should homosexuals accept their marginalisation and never (directly) challenge the prejudices of heterosexuals? Why should secularists always be the one to exercise diplomacy in the face of an aggressive Christian majority?
As a friend said, "I don't care who ordained your prejudice ... . [In fact,] you can stay right where you are and negotiate your prejudices after you learn who I am. Don't bring them to me."
Ironically, what is considered normal and accepted is not always defined by the majority.
Normality must be challenged, and it is the duty-obligation-responsibility of those who are bigoted. You don't have to be a human-rights activist to revolutionise the status quo; you just need to be a person. Start with the people around you, especially in cases where it won't impact directly on your livelihood.
If you are an atheist, you don't need friends who think you have no sense of morality and that you are a devil worshipper.
If you are a straight man, you don't need friends who call you a faggot because you have a friend who is gay. And if you are gay, you don't need friends who don't approve of your love for someone of the same gender. Hold your friends to the same standards you wish to apply to the general public.
Jaevion Nelson is a youth development, human rights and HIV advocate.